NBA All-Star Weekend: Steph Curry tops Sabrina Ionescu; Mac McClung defends slam dunk title

NBA All-Star Saturday was all about Stephen Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu.

Curry, the shooting GOAT, topped the WNBA sharpshooter in a 3-point battle of the ages, scoring 29 points.

Ionescu, 26, didn't want to shoot from the women’s 3-point line of 20 feet, 6 inches. Instead, she leveled the playing field and shot from the NBA line of 23 feet, 9 inches, but she did shoot a WNBA ball.

Fans were allowed to vote on who would shoot first, which resulted in Ionescu starting. With five racks of five balls placed at different points around the 3-point line, she got hot early. Four of the racks had four standard balls worth one point and one "money ball" worth two points. The fifth rack was filled with solely "money balls" placed to the preference of each competitor.

Ionescu made every shot from the first rack, ending with 26 points. That was tied for the highest score of the night until Curry took over. He came in clutch when it really mattered as he always does, thriving under pressure to make some crucial buckets on his last rack.

In the traditional 3-point contest, defending champion Damian Lillard once again came out on top.

Mac McClung defended his slam dunk title, holding off a challenge from All-Star Jaylen Brown.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 17: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after defeating Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty in a 3-point challengeduring the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 17, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry celebrates after defeating Sabrina Ionescu in a 3-point challenge during All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
  • In case you were wondering: McClung said he'll think about returning for the dunk contest next year. "I never say never."

  • Here's the dunk that won it all:

  • It's OVER! McClung gets his 50. He's the back-to-back champ.

  • Shaq is back! McClung put him in a Gate City jersey, had him hold the ball over his head and slammed it. Nice.

  • That's a statement! Leaped over Donovan Mitchell and dunked with the left hand. Judges say 49.2.

  • Hmm... Brown put a sparkly glove on his left hand. Looks like he's addressing social media buzz that he can't go left.

  • McClung raised the bar for his opener, and it scored a 48.8. He dunked over two people, hard to beat.

  • Dunkin' ain't easy

    Are we no longer impressed by anything? Or do we really need the superstars to do this?

  • Mac McClung vs Jaylen Brown in the final, and Brown opens up by missing his first attempt again. He bounced back with a what looked like a normal windmill. It scored a 48.6.

  • The fans have spoken

    At least there’s one NBA player in the dunk final. And props to Jaylen Brown for being a star who actually decided to do it … even though the crowd didn’t like the Celtics parquet LED on the floor.

  • Jaylen's back! With Kai Cenat and Jayson Tatum out as props, he missed his first attempt. He made the second, taking a lob from Tatum and leaping over a seated Cenat. The crowd didn't like it, and he scored a 47.6. Sounds like the crowd has some issues with the inconsistent judging.

  • Tough judging

    Gary Payton told @yahoosports he was not gonna reward dunks that had multiple attempts. Betting he’s the holdout for Mac.

  • McClung is out for that perfect score. Don't even know how to describe what he just did but it was impressive and he scored a 49.4.

  • Toppin's second dunk was a killer! But he got penalized for not making his first attempt, scoring a 47.2.

  • This was Jaylen Brown's first dunk, best score so far.

  • Jaquez is up again. He followed up with a nice 360, scoring a 46.8.

  • Mac McClung's first dunk might not have gone smoothly on the first attempt, but it seemed like it deserved a 50. He got a 48.0.

  • Game of props

    These guys always look surprised when they’re brought out as human props. First Shaq, now Obi Toppin.

  • Steph vs. Sabrina a hit

    The Steph vs Sabrina contest was the first time tonight you could feel the enormity of this place. It’s hard for something to be intimate, communal and bigger than life all at the same time

  • Jacob Toppin followed suit, going for a double-pump and leaping over his brother, Obi. Judges gave him a 47.8.

  • 47.4 for Jaquez

  • Oh! He opened it up with a one-armed windmill over THE DIESEL. Let's see what the judges think.

  • Jaquez is up first and he has Shaq on the court. Intriguing!

  • Meet the judges: 9-time All-Star Gary Payton, former Pacer Fred Jones, 6-time All-Star Mitch Richmond and 1985 dunk contest champ Dominique Wilkins.

  • Now we finish with the dunk contest between defending champ Mac McClung, Jaylen Brown (the first All-Star to participate since 2017), Jacob Toppin and Jaime Jaquez Jr.

  • Sabrina Ionescu did this while shooting from the NBA line rather than the one she's used to and nearly beat the best shooter in the history of basketball. She didn't get the meh-looking belt, but that was an impressive performance with everyone watching.

  • Steph and Sabrina put on a show

    If anything, Steph and Sabrina showed how far we've come since the Battle of the Sexes. The grace of both toward each other was evident, as was the fact that they were the two greatest shooters in the building. Steph took the championship belt, but Sabrina hung with who she (and everyone) called "the greatest to ever do it."Final score: 29-26. Steph: "This might be something we need to do more often."

  • Hear us out: Damian Lillard vs. Caitlin Clark next year.

  • Stephen Curry makes 9 of his last 10 to post a 29 and beat Sabrina. That was the most entertaining contest of the night.

  • WOW, Sabrina Ionescu opens with 26, including a perfect rack to begin the shooting. She gets a big hug from Steph after. That would have been enough to put her in the tie for advancement in the actual 3-point contest.

  • We would not describe this belt as opulent.

  • The NBA has a very large GOAT belt ready for the winner.

  • Sabrina on shootout with Steph: 'If I wasn't nervous, I wouldn't be human'

    Sabrina Ionescu says, even though she and Steph Curry are friends, Steph was booing her and trying to get in her head during yesterday’s practice together. “He wants to win,” she said of tonight’s 3-point shootout between the two. “If I wasn’t nervous, I wouldn’t be human.” She wants to show every girl that they can beat the boys on the playground.

  • Dame in special club

    Damian Lillard is the first back-to-back 3-point contest winner since Jason Kapono in 2007-08. Peja Stojakovic (2002-03), Jeff Hornacek (1998, 2000), Mark Price (1993-94) and Craig Hodges (1990-91) also went back-to-back. Larry Bird (1986-88) is the only player to win 3 in a row.

  • Lillard starts strong, the misses the first four shots of his money rack, then makes the last shot to win his second straight title. He's the first repeat champion since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008.

  • Wow, Trae Young makes the first four of his money rack to reach 24, then misses the last shot to fall short of Towns. Lillard will now shoot needing 26 to become the back-to-back champ.

  • Karl-Anthony Towns opens the final round with 24. It wouldn't have been enough in the first round, we'll see if it's enough in the final round.

  • When tech goes wrong

    They ran this thing called the Indy 5 between the Skills Challenge and 3-point contest. Basically, the LED court showed a rolling street with potholes that Benny the Bull and Pierre the Pelican had to avoid as they dribbled from one end to the other. Except, it malfunctioned on Benny the Bull, and he had to start over twice. They somehow still ended up at the other end of the floor at the same time. It was bizarre.

  • Damian Lillard makes the 3-point Starry ball to reach 13 and eliminate Haliburton, then makes three more to post 16. The final round will be Lillard (2023 champ), Towns (2022 champ and Young.

  • Karl-Anthony Towns posts 16 to move into first in the tiebreaker. Damian Lillard will be shooting to eliminate Haliburton. He'll need 13 points.

  • Tyrese Haliburton posts only 12, so Young will advance to the final round.